George Leigh Mallory (1886–1924)

Author of Climbing Everest: The Complete Writings of George Leigh Mallory

Includes the names: George Mallory
Also includes: Mallory (4)

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George Leigh Mallory was born in Mobberley, England, to a long line of clergymen. As a 10-year -old, he went on a school trip to Ben Nevis in Scotland, and found in himself an aptitude for mountain climbing. He graduated from Cambridge University and became a teacher, but continued to hone his climbing skills in the Alps and in Wales. He saved the lives of two of his companions with his quick thinking and actions, and survived an avalanche in 1906. In 1914, he married Ruth Turner, with whom he had three children. He served in the British Army in France during World War I and resumed teaching after the war. In 1922, when the British Alpine Club assembled the first major expedition to map the route to Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, Mallory was a natural choice. In 1924, he was also selected for the third attempt to reach the summit. It was at this time that he gave the now-famous answer to the question of why climbers continued to struggle to scale Everest: "Because it’s there." During the climb, Mallory and his partner Andrew Irvine disappeared on the Northeast Ridge and were never seen again. The mystery of their fate was debated for decades and made Mallory one of the most romantic figures in exploration history. Finally in 1999, an expedition to search for the two discovered the remains of Mallory's body on the mountain.
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